Formula E: Evans makes history in Rome

Mitch Evans claimed his first Formula E win in a dramatic race. Image Sourced from GKN ePowertrain.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans won the Rome E-Prix – the first victory in Formula E for himself and Panasonic Jaguar Racing.

After qualifying on Pole, Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer led ahead of Evans and the HWA of Stoffel Vandoorne, who jumped Dragon’s Jose Maria Lopez at the start.

Lopez’s team-mate Max Gunther lost the rear of the car and hit the wall, but continued to slide round turn 3 in which he was able to just about save the car. Lopez continued to drop down the order and made contact with Virgin’s Sam Bird at turn 11 and 12. Further on in the lap at turn 18, Lopez hit the kerb and collided with the wall.

This created a pile-up effect that involved a number of driver including defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah), Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra) and Daniel Abt (Audi Sport).

The red flag was subsequently deployed as the pile-up completely blocked the track. The clock was stopped and reset, so that the time allocated would fulfilled at 42 minutes, plus one lap.

HWA’s Gary Paffett sustained too much damage to restart the race and became the first retiree of the race. Bird made it back to the pits, where his Envision Virgin team managed to fix his car.

Several drivers activated Attack Mode, and after one lap behind the Safety Car, the race finally got underway. Four laps later, Lotterer led from Evans, Vandoorne, Nissan’s Sebastian Buemi and the Envision Virgin of Robin Frijns.

After the field started to settle down, Vandoorne activated his Attack Mode allocation and started to close in on Lotterer and Evans.

Further back, Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara and Felipe Massa both stopped in quick succession and brought out the full course yellow.

When the green flag returned, Evans used his Attack Mode chased after Lotterer. He then made his move at Turn 11 and 12, which forced the German to defend second place from Vandoorne.

Elsewhere, Guenther was given a five second penalty for speeding under the Full Course Yellow.

Lotterer then activated his Attack Mode and tried to regain the lead from Evans. Unable to find a way past, Lotterer used his second Attack Mode allocation.

Then, after successfully maintaining first place, Evans tried to use his Attack Mode to pull away, but missed the activation zone, before doing so at the second attempt.

Evans kept his composure to win the Rome E-Prix for Jaguar, with Lotterer second and Vandoorne in 3rd joining them on the podium.

Frijns ended the race in fourth ahead of Nissan’s Buemi and Oliver Rowland. Lucas Di Grassi claimed seventh for Audi, with the Mahindra’s of Jerome d’Ambrosio and Pascal Wehrlein, sandwiched by BMW’s Antonio Felix Da Costa.

Vergne recieved a drive through penalty late on, which was converted to a time penalty and dropped him to 14th, after initially finishing seventh.

This result means that d’Ambrosio maintains his championship lead 65 points, with Da Costa just a point behind. Lotterer is third on 62 points and race-winner Evans moves up to fourth on 61 points.